Breaking: Rampaging soldiers allegedly set Benue community on fire

Breaking: Rampaging soldiers allegedly set Benue community on fire

- A Benue community, Naka, the seat of Gwer west local government area, has been reportedly razed by some soldiers

- The action of the soldiers was said to have been in retaliation to the killing of one soldier by some suspected members of the community

- Francis Ayagah, the chairman of the local government reported that the soldiers were busy burning houses in the community for about two hours on Thursday, April 19

Some angry Nigerian soldiers reportedly stormed a community in Benue state and set houses ablaze, an official has told Premium Times.

The soldiers stormed Naka, the seat of Gwer west local government area, at about 11:00 am and began burning houses to the apprehension of residents, Francis Ayagah, chairman of the local government told newsmen by telephone on Thursday, April 19.

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Details of the incident were not clear as at 2:48 pm, and Ayagah could not immediately confirm casualty figures.

But he said the soldiers were on a reprisal attack over the killing of one of their colleagues near the community on Wednesday, April 18.

Ayah said: “A soldier was killed by hoodlums yesterday, but I met with the brigade commander around 4:30 a.m. today. He gave me a list of suspects and we arrested five of them overnight. It was while we were trying to take them to the brigade that soldiers stormed the town and started burning houses.”

“A part of the town has been completely burnt down and we’re appealing for help and understanding from the soldiers.”

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The troops were said to have spent more than two hours burning down properties in Naka, which is about 45 kilometres from Makurdi, the state capital.

Ayagah said homes of citizens were mostly affected rather than those suspected to have killed the soldiers.

Meanwhile, reported that the Nigerian army might deploy troops in Benue state to protect the lives and property of the people against any resistance to the anti-grazing law by suspected militant herdsmen.

Three major socio cultural groups in the state, including the Mdzough U Tiv, ldoma national forum and Omi Ny’lgede, claimed that the chief of army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, had assured people of Benue of the deployment of soldiers to assist civil police in keeping the peace in the state.

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